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November 14, 2021

How to Use Intent-Based Marketing to Boost Sales (Updated)

Don Simpson

Every company in the world today is creating more customer-relevant content and collecting more data than ever, trying to uncover new, previously untapped, marketing opportunities and increase demand from ideal customers.

Such data and content can be used in improving customer relationship management, streamlining the latest technology to make it more user-friendly, and ultimately influencing purchase decisions of high-value contacts.

One of the best ways to do the latter is to make use of the intent-based marketing strategy, which allows you to leverage intent data to create content that targets people who are already interested in your solution.

What Is Intent Data?

At its most fundamental level, intent data is a collection of actions (at any scale, from dozens to millions) that are used to express interest in your offering. Depending on how you measure intent, intent signals can be anything from relevant keywords BDRs use to entice email newsletter subscribers to website visitors who respond well to your marketing efforts (e.g. promotions or upsells). 

In aggregate, intent data points can be extremely useful for your marketing team and form a key part of your intent marketing strategy. In other words, understanding buyer intent data can lead to marketing campaigns that are specifically targeted at people whose behavior shows a high probability of changing purchase decisions. 

Targeting marketing efforts at people who are already interested in your solution makes for effective marketing campaigns. For example, if one of your target accounts is researching your competitors, you can assign more budget to programmatic advertising that would show up at every search query. You concentrate your efforts instead of trying to reach everybody you can. As a result, you’ll be able to pass on more high-quality leads to your sales and marketing teams.

How Intent-Based Content Impacts Your Sales Funnel and Leads

If you work in sales, you know the true cost of getting low-quality, cold leads from mediocre marketing efforts.

Salespeople aren’t cheap; and every conversation spent with someone who has low purchase intent is a waste of resources, which could be directed towards pursuing contacts who are actually interested in your product. This is where marketing and sales teams should be perfectly aligned.

The key to getting marketing and sales on the same page is making sure the former has a steady impact on the pipeline and constantly fuels sales prospecting

Intent-based marketing can work with either internal (e.g. your website and campaigns) or external (e.g. a search engine) data and, for example, give you a strong indication on what kind of solutions your target audience is researching. According to a FocusVision survey from 2019, 70% of marketing professionals visit vendor websites and 67% use search engines to research products and services before making purchasing decisions.

Tapping into visitor demand with buyer intent lets you not only reduce the cost of your marketing campaigns but also make them more effective.

How Intent-Based Marketing Shortens Time to Purchases

No marketing budget has unlimited resources, so allocating them properly is crucial to the success of the business. 

Intent-based marketing allows you to direct campaigns or sales actions to people who are already interested in what you have to offer, which makes them more cost-effective compared to other campaigns that cover broad market segments. 

When you invest in intent-based marketing you pay more per every individual lead, but the quality of that lead is much higher and will also have a stronger conversion rate. This results in a better ROI for your business. In addition, your sales team will be more productive because they are spending time on the right leads, which means you can generate more revenue from the same sales activity.

How Intent Marketing Improves Email and Advertising Keywords Results

Lots of B2B companies today use account-based marketing to preemptively identify certain target accounts, which allows them to prioritize their resources.

Intent-based marketing can make the conversion process more effective through, for example, the use of programmatic advertising. The simplest form of intent-based marketing is searching for something in Google — if you look for “best CRMs 2021,” a CRM company can reasonably assume a medium-to-high level of buyer intent and create ad campaigns related to search queries. Programmatic advertising can then serve those ads dynamically, based on how exactly buyer intent was revealed.

Another buyer intent marketing strategy could be in serving relevant content to your potential leads through email to identify ideal customers with targeted messaging that would appeal to them and tip over the purchase decision. It could be as simple as a one-time discount or as complex as an account executive-led demo for a specific industry, depending on your sales funnel structure. 

Examples like these, however, offer only a simplistic view of what determines intent. For all you know, it could be a student researching CRMs for a term paper or competitors clicking through your emails, none of which constitutes a true purchase signal. You need extra tools to identify anonymous website visitors.

That’s why the pinnacle of intent-based marketing lies in real-time “buyer intent” using AI — understanding the signals that determine user intent by computing hundreds, if not thousands, of data points simultaneously.

How to Determine Buyer Intent

It’s easy for salespeople to determine buyer intent when they get a call from a website visitor or a request for a demo. It’s much more difficult to gauge buyer intent without visitors actively reaching out.

Deciphering raw data online is not easy, as any potential behavioral pattern can be made up of countless data points. Luckily, there are technology solutions that know what is intent data, can analyze massive amounts of current and historical behavior, and clearly identify patterns that reveal real buyer intent. 

Lift AI is a buyer-intent solution that leverages its AI model to determine how likely are your website visitors to purchase your solution. In other words — their buyer intent.

Unlike other solutions, Lift AI works autonomously, right out of the box, relying on more than one billion historic data points and over 14 years of customer interactions. As a result, it can identify the buying intent of anonymous website visitors (which make up 98% of your traffic) as they navigate your website. 

With Lift AI, you don’t have to worry about what is intent data or how to use it — the model reveals the high-scoring visitors (on average, around 9% of all visitors) and can trigger an immediate engagement to your sales team through the chat platform you already use so that they can be converted in the moment (before visitors slip away). Lower-scoring visitors can be offered a different experience such as being connected with a nurturing or a self-help bot.

When your salespeople can identify anonymous website visitors with Lift AI and focus only on those with high buyer intent, your conversion rates can go up anywhere from two to ten times just during the first 90 days.

Lift AI is risk-free — you can try it for 30 days with no credit card required. The solution will automatically integrate into your enterprise chat (e.g. Drift or LivePerson) when you add a simple JavaScript snippet to your website.

As the collection of data in the future will only increase, intent-based marketing solutions like Lift AI that help identify anonymous website visitors and other metrics will become even more valuable for every marketer focused on effectively increasing conversion rates.

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